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Last updated: February 20. 2013 1:07AM - 114 Views

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(AP) French actor Gerard Depardieu has denied accepting Russian citizenship to escape the taxman in France.


In an interview Monday on L'Equipe 21 sports channel, he said: I have a Russian passport, but I remain French and I will probably have dual Belgian nationality. But if I'd wanted to escape the taxman, as the French press say, I would have done it a long time ago.


Depardieu received his Russian passport from President Vladimir Putin on Saturday.


The film star has caused an uproar in France by saying in mid-December that he's turning in his French passport over an insult from Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault who called him pathetic for deciding to move to tax-friendly Belgium.


France's new Socialist government wants to steeply raise income taxes on the wealthy.


Associated Press
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